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How to discuss embarrassing symptoms with your doctor

Health & Fitness

How to discuss embarrassing symptoms with your doctor

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A health concern comes up and you know you need to talk about it with your doctor. Even though you’re aware that your doctor is a medical professional that you can speak about anything with, you still hesitate. We’ve all been there. The reality is that sitting down with someone and sharing your symptoms and secrets is not easy. However, it’s important to face problems before they possibly get worse. These tips from our friends from Pacific Prime Thailand make it easier to discuss embarrassing symptoms with your doctors. 

Why you need to talk to your doctor about that awkward thing

You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. If you can’t tell your doctor about the symptoms or habits that are causing issues, they can’t help you. In extreme circumstances, talking to your doctor could be the difference between life and death. In milder situations, sharing weird or embarrassing symptoms ensures you get the care you need. 

Plus, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re doing something about your problem. Remember that a doctor’s job is to listen to their patients carefully and offer support. In some cases, simply sharing your secret and what you’re going through can help you feel less alone, and reduce the stress that comes from keeping things to yourself. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re worried about your bowel movements or bodily fluids – anything that is related to your health should be discussed. When it comes to your health, there are no such things as stupid questions. In fact, the more open and honest you can be with your doctor, the better. Oftentimes, things that people find weird or inadequate are actually very normal and might not even need much fixing, if at all. 

But you’ll never know if that’s the case if you don’t talk to your doctor. 

How to communicate with your doctor with confidence 

Speaking about sensitive subjects such as bad breath, hair loss, and incontinence can certainly be uncomfortable. But when you consider the alternative is to continue living with the problem that could potentially worsen, it’s actually not that bad. 

The discussion with your doctor is likely more uncomfortable in your head than it will be in real life too. In fact, most talks about symptoms are fairly quick and simple. The same cannot be said for living with the symptoms. Being able to talk about your problems and address any of your health concerns is an important first step in looking for a solution. 

Even if you’re ready to talk to your doctor, that doesn’t suddenly make it easy to do. Here’s how you can bring up embarrassing symptoms with your doctor. 

Practice what you’re going to say

It can be less scary to start a conversation about a certain topic if you’ve already spoken the words out loud beforehand. Practicing what you’re going to say also gives you the opportunity to put together your thoughts and feelings before sharing them. 

Write it down 

Are you afraid the words won’t come out once you’re in front of your doctor? If you’re not sure you can form the words you need to, just write down what you wish to share. There are two benefits to doing this. Preparing your notes will make it easier to discuss what’s on your mind. Plus, if you’re still having a hard time vocalizing your problems, you can just pass the note to your doctor. 

Express how you feel

Starting your discussion by saying that you’re not sure if you can say it out loud or expressing that you’re nervous lets your doctor know how they can be there for you. Prefacing your discussion with your feelings encourages a slower, gentler pace and allows your doctor to focus on helping you become more comfortable. In these situations, in particular, doctors can listen closely for important details that can also help you resolve related problems. 

Ease into it

Getting right into the specifics of an uncomfortable health topic can be overwhelming, especially when it’s something you’re dealing with personally. To ease into the conversation, start broad and get into the specifics as you’ve loosened up a bit. For instance, you may find it easier to start by discussing general symptoms instead of going right into the exact details. 

Get comfortable 

The sooner you talk about a health issue, the more equipped you and your doctor will be to tackle it. It’s impossible to address a problem when there is no awareness of one. As a patient, you must understand that doctor-patient relationships are sacred. Discussions in your doctor’s office are taking place in a safe and confidential environment. 

If you still don’t feel right about talking to your doctor after reading the tips above, it might be time to find a new healthcare provider. 

A comprehensive health insurance plan gives you access to the best healthcare providers and facilities. Whether you’re looking for expat health insurance in Thailand or globally, Pacific Prime Thailand is your insurance broker of choice. Contact Pacific Prime Thailand for expert advice or to compare health insurance in Thailand today. 

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